It’s the end… I don’t want it to ever end, but it has to. There are so many things to wrap up. I love every single moment of the drama, though it is not without its flaws. I kept trying to choose which are my favourite episodes, but I ended up choosing it all. I tried to choose favourite moments too, but I just love them all, apart from the office politics.
Yoojin & Naeil
NI could not bear to watch her loved one leaving her. Instead, she left YJ to spare her the hurt of having to let go. If she’s there when YJ is going to leave for Europe, she must not trust herself to let him go. In ep 14, she was reluctant to let him go to Europe without her, thus she hides the pendant. But once she sees him getting the undeserved treatment from school politics, then only she is willing to sacrifice her feelings for him.
YJ is so sloooooow when it comes to realizing his feelings for NI. We know that YJ likes NI, that he wants her by his side and he accepts her feelings. But does he feel LOVE? Their near-kiss moments (couch scene and doll-machine scene) are two of those moments where I’m sure YJ’s feeling is more than ‘like’. His conversation with NI when he informs her of the competition is also an indication that he loves her. He admits that they have a relationship, but he hasn’t yet want to move to the next level.
I’m now VERY convinced that YJ and DK have never done anything private in all the time they spent as a couple. I don’t know how long that is, but it doesn’t seem very long. We were told that they’ve known each other for 10 years, but we didn’t actually know when they decide to be ‘romantically’ involved with each other. I think YJ and DK’s term of ‘romantic’ involves hand holding, talking, and piano and singing accompaniment. YJ has never held a woman’s bag before, has obviously never dated to the movies, and fully didn’t bother about this mushy-mushy couple items. He has never give-in to a relationship before, so he didn’t know what to do. That’s why he didn’t initiate a hug (until he sees the need for it) or kiss (though I don’t see why he didnt respond when NI is THISCLOSE to his face).
I was cringing throughout when NI made her farewell speeches to her friends. It is more for her sake than for anyone else’s, for she can’t take it when YJ has to leave her. She meant it for YJ, but little did she know that YJ wants to go with her instead of without her. She may have the thought she could never make it abroad and having to wait and be apart from YJ from unknown period of time is torture to her.
NI knows that YJ may resist to go, thus she approaches FS to request him to force YJ. I’m not sure if she thinks YJ’s resistance has anything to do with her, but she may think that his resistance is due to his fear. She is right too on that count. She has matured a lot in terms of controlling her emotion.
NI’s passion has changed, thanks to YJ. She used to want to be a kindergarten teacher, but we know how that’s just a cover from her past. When her parent mention about teaching nearby, of course she will decline. She escapes to Jeju just to get away from things for a while, sort out her feelings. She never meant to give up on piano regardless of what she told YJ. She wants to shine too, to play piano so that people will be mesmerized by her. She wants to go abroad, but she was angry and upset at that time, so it was her emotion that speaks instead of her mind and will. But she definitely intends to go. She loves performing now, and she wants her music to be spread to the world. She wants to stand on stage with YJ.
In Europe, we see a slight different personality in NI. She’s being very playful. I don’t blame her; being overseas alone with YJ is very tempting to her. She wants to spend as much time with him as she can, alone from others’ eyes. This is also her first time abroad since she’s not from a rich family. It’s not that she doesn’t want to practice because she wants to spend time with YJ, I didn’t take that part seriously at all. She knows what it at stake with her future. I guess the writer/production should show her practicing a bit, just to show her seriousness for the competition. But it doesn’t mean that NI didn’t practice without YJ; he just didn’t know when she did it.
I was a bit scared when NI gets intimidated by the great pianist. But YJ was there to support her. He knows the exact things to say and do to calm NI. He pulls her strings, but then say that NI will stick to her like glue. THAT IS THE SWEETEST THING EVER… Anyway, YJ has faith in NI, he believes in her talent. And that faith is the most important thing for NI, it is exactly what she needs. Her mindset has matured in thinking that she just wants to show people her music as opposed to winning competitions. Of course she wants to win too, but it will be a slow process for her to show her music without winning, but she can still make it. She’s able to mesmerize people with her playing, so I’m not worried about her future even if she didn’t win. People are able to notice her for she’s amazing regardless.
In episode 15, we see how YJ acts rashly because he didn’t know the impact of the hypnosis. He didn’t know that NI has been trying hard, doing researches on hypnosis to help him. It seems to him as just a dream. He must not have realized that he opened up to her, that he told her about his fears. He thought that NI simply said something meaningless, but he didn’t know that something in him changed because of her.
I love the scene where YJ scolds her first after finding out that she’s ok. Didn’t they know that if we love someone, we tend to get angry at them because we worry that they are hurt, then the relief comes later? It’s so fitting for YJ to get upset for he’s thinking the worst has happened to her.
Joowon’s expression when he struggles at the airport is really amazing. It’s great to know that hypnosis doesn’t cure his fear immediately, but that it is a catalyst to help him overcome it. But in the end, it is still will over mind. Thinking of NI made him go after her. It is his heart, his love for NI that propels him to ride that plane to find her.
In Europe, YJ tries his best to let NI enter the competition after she was disqualified wrong the spelling mistake. He was there to support her, to spend time with her in giving her happiness to relieve her stress. Yes, he was more concerned on the competition that NI was, but they both know the seriousness of the competition. YJ told his father that in order for him to prioritize his career, he needs NI. So he needs to help NI win the competition as a way to help himself too. Both YJ and NI need each other, both adjusts their life around for each others’ success. Separately, they can make it too. But together, they will be outstanding.
It’s great to finally see YJ receive a praise from his father. It means so much to him for he grows up with bad memories of his father, so to have a simple praise is enough for YJ to change his mindset slightly about him. Hopefully, it is a new beginning for the father and son.
YH was the type of person to give up before things have even ended. He gives up on playing cello before his surgery. FS told YH to be the assistant conductor for YJ so that YH will learn when YJ is who his real self is, and not under teacher’s guidance. YJ is already perfect as a conductor; his leadership, mindset, the way he manages his orchestra, and the way he teaches them. YH has talent in musical arrangement, and that’s not what FS want from YH. It’s the way YJ deals with his orchestra that FS thinks YH lacks.
YH watches how YJ handles his friends, how he gains their trust, how they help each other when the other is feeling down. YJ knows talent when he sees it, and is not biased against them just because of arrogant personality. He chooses the best from both A- and S-orchestra members because they complete each other, and can learn from one another. YH on the other hand, was initially more concerned towards his friends as opposed to uniting them together. His mindset was still on individual achievement, and not as a team. This is not surprising because we know how YH was brought up. FS knows this too. YH’s a good friend, but he is not yet a good leader. So it’s very satisfying to see YH matures in his mindset on his path to be a conductor. In episode 16, we’re seeing a different YH, who is on his path to be as good as if not better than YJ.
YH likes to kid around with YJ, pissing him off. I think he’s accustomed to being treated nicely, and when YJ treated him badly, he likes it. Sometimes YH is serious, at times he’s just goofing around. It’s just YJ who dislikes it when YH pulls his legs. I realized that both men opened up to each other a lot, discussing about the orchestra and private feelings. YJ’s advice and concern for YH’s injured hand earlier tells me that he actually cares and consider YH as a friend, though he will never admit it. YH knows YJ has it in him when it comes to NI, thus he pushes the right buttons. He knows that YJ wants to go find NI but something is holding him back. so by threatening to go himself then YJ braves himself to do it. It hurts YH to do it because he actually meant it when he said he wants to go after NI but he knows she is out of his league.
It’s great to see YH change in episode 16. He finds a new passion/beginning because of NI and YJ, just like how NI and YJ finds their path to success because of each other. It’s also nice to see YH realize YJ’s words about the orchestra playing in the lobby. That was a perfect ending, reuniting everyone in a harmony, with their former mascot NI doing a solo piano.
Yoojin & RS-orchestra
It’s nice to see IR realize that he can’t give up the soloist just because he loves SW. There were moments where he believed in himself, but there were times when he really felt discouraged. So to have YJ strongly believes in him, and is willing to sacrifice himself for the team’s benefits is exactly what he needs. He needs the tough love.
Similarly with the other orchestra members. Telling them what to do and what not to do may not be the best solution. They must have the thoughts about giving up, just like YH. Admittedly, it is definitely easy to give up than fight. But by having YJ SHOW them what friendship and trust means is more meaningful in teaching the members that staying together is best. YJ know his members will stand up and support each other despite another member’s fall.
The orchestra members felt badly upon seeing someone else take the blame for their own selfish behaviour, and YJ knows that they will make up for it by staying together. That’s what the board members want to see; that the orchestra members are united. The orchestra members wait outside in the cold together, showing their willingness to start over, and as a form of apology for what happened; that is one of the best ways to show unison.
YJ takes his chances; things can go the way he hopes for or they can go oppositely. Luckily, his decisions have always been right. That’s what makes him a good conductor, for he knows what’s best for the team and how his members will act.
I love YJ’s words in the end while he conducts them in the hall. Orchestra is not about a single person; it is about the sound that they make as a whole team. Everyone can play well, but not everyone can learn to harmonize as a team, to not outshine others and learn to give and take to others’ strengths and weaknesses.
By the way, I’m glad SW is not a bitchy woman. Some talented people like DK are so arrogant coz they think they’ve got it all. So it’s easy to root for SW-IR couple when we know they’re both talented and nice people who really care for their friends. This couple is just so sweet together.
None of the casts should be changed. Period.
I think all the casts have done wonderfully in portraying their role. From the lead actors down to the side-actors, everyone is immersed in their role. The stand-outs to me were of course YJ and NI, then IR, YH, MSM, IR’s dad, and SW. Their actions and reactions were perfectly in-character throughout the drama, and made us go “so THAT’s why he did it” or “that is SO what she would do”
I do notice slight inconsistencies in their body language here and there, but that is because I am being very critical. I dislike it when in one shot the person is folding his/her hand in front, and the next shot shows him/her hands down, then back to the hand-folding shot. It’s a major turn-off for me. There were quite few of these mistakes in this drama, if one look very closely and repeatedly. The fault also lies in editing.
However, the casts’ expressions were extremely amazing. There were very minor inconsistencies, but overall their amazing acting made up for their weaknesses. Joowon made expressions that I never thought he could possibly make, Eunkyung tugged at my heart during intense and sad moments and flutters it during the sweet and funny moments, Go Kyung Po is a jewel every time he’s on screen, and so much more. The casts have put in so much effort and it reflects in their performance. Their instrument-playing skills look very professional, especially YH and YJ. I cheered for all the casts equally as much because all of their journeys are meaningful to me. And I just LOVE the music performances~
If this drama is to have a special episode or a movie sequel or if I am asked “Who would you choose to play this role instead of this actor/actress?” I would still say the same names as the casts now. I can’t imagine anyone else as Yoojin, Naeil, Ilrak, Ma Soomin, Minhee and Yoon Ho.
Songs & Music – overall drama review
I’m definitely not an expert on classical music. I’ve been meaning to listen to them but my spazzing over the drama and casts took up most of my time. I can’t tell apart the songs from each other, but I heard classical music being played somewhere some time ago, and my mind flashes to the scene from Tomorrow Cantabile when the song was played. Which is why I really love the narration that comes with the pieces played. It explains what viewers need to know; why they choose that particular music to be played.
Tomorrow Cantabile is beautiful in the way that they choose the songs for a reason. Yes, Rachmaninoff song is powerful and requires extreme skill to play. It would be perfect to showcase YJ’s solo. However, as mentioned in my previous review, TC drama doesn’t choose to let YJ play the piece as in the JDrama. This is because TC wants YJ to play a more meaningful song for his solo, and let Sooji plays the solo as an ‘intimidation’ song for NI. KDrama chooses reason over skill.
I didn’t know how it is with the JDrama, but I love the audience’s reaction whenever NI plays. The mention the difference in her playing compared to the original version and they can ‘connect’ to her adaptation of the piece.
As for the OSTs, we only have 3 of them. My favourite is still Listen to My Heart by Melody Day. I loved it ever since I heard it the first time in episode 1. This song speaks of individual and team passion in pursuing love for music, friendship and couple feelings. Whenever I listen to it, I will reminisce the times the casts had hardships but support each other, and how YJ and NI react around each other. I may be in the minority here, but I think this song is absolutely perfect.
We didn’t get to listen to the other two songs as much, but I love them all the same. Joowon’s OST speaks about his inner feelings, how he can’t seem to say what’s in his heart. It’s a very sweet song~
I realize the use of classical music for certain funny, sad and intense scenes are very spot on. I can’t quote which piece it is, but the songs definitely highlight the feelings we’re having at that moment, though some music was used repetitively. I never knew classical songs can be very meaningful.
How I Wish This Part Is Done Differently…
Many thinks that Tomorrow Cantabile is not up to par with its peers, nor with its previous versions. I didn’t watch the previous versions so I definitely did not compare. For Tomorrow Cantabile, there are certain parts that I think could be done differently. Certain points that I can come up with:
1) I wish the production would have let us see NI tying her hair in two short ponytails, and call YJ ‘Orabang’ before we were shown the Europe scene. This will decrease the vast difference we see in NI’s character because we know the Europe scene was filmed months ago, before the writer tones down NI’s character. Calling him ‘Orabang’ in Jeju in front of her parents will be perfect though, and it’d be great to see NI do ponytail hairstyle sometimes. She looks really cute.
2) Being a Joowon-biased, I wish the production would show more of Joowon playing violin and piano. Joowon stopped playing piano in episode 8 after his solo performance, and he only plays violin for 21 seconds (I timed it, 22:56-23:15) in episode 4. So yeah, I’m YJ-hotness-from-playing-instruments deprived. I even think I heard Joowon play a different song in Life Log when he practices, so I was hoping for a bit more violin scene. But then again, YJ’s path is for him to become a conductor, so of course we were shown more of him conducting.
3) Have one kiss scene for YJ & NI. Enough said.
I think Shim Eunkyung MAYBE requested for a no-kiss scene… I don’t know. Maybe. She was a child actress and I think she has never kissed before in her previous projects. How perfect it would be for them to have a kiss scene… Just a quick peck would do. Maybe have NI do a quick peck on YJ’s lips and we see YJ standing like a statue or do weird things, shocked from the aftermath of the kiss. Oh… so many funny actions this can result in… Such a pity…
4) Show how Yoojin acts on the plane. I would be hilarious to see him cause a ‘ruckus’ and whimper like a puppy like what NI said. LOL